Sandwich feedback model

There are very many feedback rules and other models that are effective and useful. The NLP sandwich feedback model is such a model, can be applied virtually everywhere and proves to be very effective. It has a very simple structure and is easy to apply. Learning and change depends on your state. People are more receptive to tips, advice and criticism when they are in a positive state. That is the essence of the sandwich feedback model: giving feedback while maintaining a positive state.


If you want to give feedback, you want to deliver it with the intention of “presenting a present” in order to help the other being able to progress. Presenting a present, as you should do with all presents you present, in such a way you let the recipient decide what to do with it. Have no expectations about what the recipient has to do with the present, as you will communicate those expectations.


Sandwich feedback model

The first part of the sandwich is the top half of the bun of the sandwich. Here you tell what in your opinion went well, and make this preferably as specific (meaning: use perceptible behavior) as possible. This ensures that you (as a feedback deliverer) notice things that went well, which will bring the recipient to a positive state. Use the present tense and speak in first person (I).


Next are the fillings of the sandwich. Start with what you have observed. For example: “And I heard you say [specific observation, e.g.”‘Er’ four times”. Next, you suggest a way to improve behavioral performance by proposing an other way of specific behavior. When there is a strict hierarchy (boss mode), you could choose to say “What I think you need to improve is …”. Make sure that you are as specific as possible and present helpful suggestions on how things might be improved.


Finally, the third part of the sandwich. Finish with a generic positive remark. Use a sentence like “Overall, I think [generic conclusion, e.g. it went very well].”. This puts the receiver (back) into a positive state which will amplify the motivation to use the feedback delivered.


So, may be this is a new way for you to deliver feedback. Try this method three to five times, and discover for yourself how fast you are getting used to deliver feedback in this new way.

Short model

1) I like to see [something positive that you perceived; e.g. you show your teeth while smiling during this presentation.].

2) And I noticed that you (Boss mode: What I think you need to improve is) [feedback specific observation, suggest an other way]

3) Overall, I think [some generic positive conclusion; e.g. your presentation went well].

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